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Scarlet Caps Holiday Travel Tips

How to stay loose when the holidays get you wound up

by Scarlet Caps @scarletcaps / http://www.washingtoncapitals.com

Holiday vacation season is here! While we all look forward to visiting with friends and family (not to mention all the fun parties!) just getting there can take a toll. 

Hey Scarlet Caps...it's no secret that sitting for hours at a time in a small space--bus, car, train or plane--can leave us feeling tight, not to mention tense. Below are a few simple yoga stretches you can do to help you stay loose, relaxed and in the holiday spirit...ho ho ho!

Shoulder and neck rolls: sitting or standing, drop your chin toward your chest and gently roll your head from side to side. Breathe. Then roll your shoulders back five times, making the biggest circles you can. Repeat in the other direction. 

Side stretch: although you can do this sitting or standing, I recommend standing if you can. On an inhale, slowly raise your right arm by your ear, reach through your fingers and slowly stretch to the left. Keep your right foot firmly planted on the floor as you do this. Moving from your core, inhale back up to center and lengthen your arm as you do this. Repeat on the other side. Do each side 2-3 times. 

Roll up: from a standing position, soften your knees (to protect your back), drop your chin toward your chest and let your arms dangle by your side. Slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time, keeping your knees bent. Your head and hands should feel heavy as you do this. Take a full 30 seconds to roll all the way down. Hang there for a few seconds and roll back up. Now take a few deep breaths. Roll your shoulders back a few times if you like.

And for especially long journeys, try this: sit on the floor next to the wall so that one side of your body is nearly touching the wall. Really sidle up next to it. Make sure the wall doesn't have anything hanging on it or sticking out, you want the space to be clear. Lean back on your forearms and pivot your body so that your legs are resting up the wall and you're lying on your back perpendicular to the wall. Your bum should be very close to the wall, though it most likely won't be touching it. Position your arms however is most comfortable: to the sides, on your chest or belly, or even overhead. Lie here for a couple of minutes. Before you get up, gently hug your knees into your chest for a few breaths. Then roll to your rights side slowly, sit up and take a few deep breaths...aaaahhh!

Happy holidays!!

Kelly

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